Former SECDEF Gates: Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adult leaders not ‘sustainable’

Former SECDEF Gates: Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adult leaders not ‘sustainable’
(Image: Detail of Norman Rockwell painting)

[Ed. – He’s afraid of lawsuits.  If you like your Boy Scouts — too bad.]

Robert M. Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America and former secretary of defense, on Thursday called to end the Scouts’ blanket ban on gay adult leaders, warning the group’s executives that “we must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be,” and that “any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.”

Speaking at the Boy Scouts’ annual national meeting in Atlanta, Mr. Gates said cascading events, including potential employment-discrimination lawsuits and the impending Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, as well as mounting internal dissent over the exclusionary policy, led him to conclude that the current rules “cannot be sustained.”

If the Boy Scouts do not change on their own, he said, the courts are likely to force them to, and “we must all understand that this will probably happen sooner rather than later.” …

“If we wait for the courts to act,” he continued, “we could end up with a broad ruling that could forbid any kind of membership standard,” such as the belief in a duty to God and the goal of specifically serving the needs of boys.

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